One in Three Lawyers Plans to Add Staff in Second Half of 2013; Litigation Driving Hiring

MENLO PARK, Calif., June 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The legal field should see more hiring activity in the months ahead, new research indicates. Nearly one-third (31 percent) of lawyers interviewed by Robert Half Legal said their law firm or company plans to expand or add new positions in the second half (July through December) of 2013 while half (50 percent) said their organizations will be maintaining current staff levels by filling vacated posts. Thirteen percent of survey respondents said they will not be filling vacant positions or creating new ones while two percent said they will be reducing or eliminating positions.

A surge in litigation-related work is prompting the expansion of legal teams, the research suggests. More than half (55 percent) of lawyers expect litigation activity to drive hiring at their law firms and companies followed by business and commercial law matters, cited by 39 percent of those polled. Although hiring is on the horizon for many, locating candidates with the specialized skills and abilities employers require may prove difficult: 53 percent of survey respondents cited at least some challenge in finding skilled legal professionals.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a legal staffing firm specializing in placing lawyers, paralegals and other highly skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on 200 telephone interviews with lawyers in the United States: 100 of the respondents are employed at law firms with 20 or more employees and 100 are employed at companies with 1,000 or more employees. All of the respondents have hiring authority within their organizations.

Lawyers were asked, "Which of the following areas of law, in your opinion, will drive hiring of legal professionals at your law firm/company in the second half of 2013?" Their responses:*

Litigation

55%

General business/commercial law

39%

Healthcare

24%

Intellectual property

14%

Privacy, data security, information law

11%

Bankruptcy/foreclosure

8%

Labor and employment

8%

Ethics and corporate governance

6%

Immigration

4%

Energy/oil and gas

3%

Real estate

2%

Other

7%

None/don't know/no answer

11%



*Multiple responses were permitted.

 

Lawyers also were asked, "How challenging is it for your law firm/company to find skilled legal professionals today?" Their responses:

Very challenging

16%

Somewhat challenging

37%

Not challenging

44%

Not applicable/not looking

3%

Don't know/no answer

1%


101%*



*Total percentage does not equal 100 due to rounding.

 

(NOTE: An infographic illustrating the hiring activity survey results is available to download at http://legal.rhi.mediaroom.com/file.php/1493/RHL_0613_GRAPH_Hire_US.jpg.)

"To increase their bench strength and augment practice groups, law firms are seeking legal professionals who possess expertise in high-demand specialties as well as solid business development skills," said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "Legal departments also are expanding their internal teams to address increased workloads."

Volkert added that companies are promoting their work environments, along with career development and work-life balance programs, in an effort to attract the best candidates.

About Robert Half Legal
Robert Half Legal is the legal staffing division of Robert Half International. The company provides law firms and corporate legal departments with highly skilled professionals, including lawyers, paralegals and legal support personnel, on a project and full-time basis. With North American and global locations, Robert Half Legal also offers managed review and e-discovery services. More information, including online job search services, can be found at www.roberthalflegal.com.

SOURCE Robert Half Legal



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